Put a ‘spring’ in your car’s performance

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published April 19, 2017

METRO DETROIT — The end of a long winter and the transition into spring bring about brighter colors, warmer temperatures and longer days. And for many Michiganders, the refreshing of nature leads to a desire to refresh other things, like their vehicles.

Shareek Asgarally, service manager at Dean Sellers Ford in Troy, listed some of the auto maintenance tasks that people should consider, which can start with a periodic, standard tuneup.

Due to the jostling and bumps that pothole season causes, Asgarally also said drivers should check their wheel alignment to prevent tire wear and retain good traction. This in turn may lessen the chances for rain-related hydroplaning, he said. Checking the windshield wipers is also a good idea in case thundershowers pass overhead, he explained.

Spring can also be an opportune time to check and possibly replace a vehicle’s filters, such as the fuel filter and cabin air filter, Asgarally said.

“The cabin filter is just like your furnace filter,” he said. “There’s a lot of pollen and a lot of stuff falling from trees. (The filter) cleans the air for you before it comes in the cabin.”

Gary Bubar, AAA Michigan public affairs specialist, said now is a good time to pursue normal vehicle maintenance on tires and fluids such as oil. He said one simple thing that many people neglect to do for the spring is get a car wash.

“Having a clean car can actually improve your gas mileage … because it improves the aerodynamics,” he said. “And there’s a psychological effect to having a clean vehicle as well. It makes you feel better about your car and about driving that vehicle.”

Bubar said it’s always a good idea to take along equipment like a cellphone, though he added that it’s just about time to take out the winter emergency supplies that help when stranded in a cold car, such as gloves or blankets. Particularly for people who park outside overnight, he still recommended keeping an ice scraper and antifreeze for a bit longer.

“We can still get some cold mornings, even through mid-May,” he said. “And with the changing temperatures, monitor your tire pressure, because we go from temperatures that approach freezing … up into the mid- or upper 70s. That can change according to the day.”

Find out more about Dean Sellers Ford in Troy by visiting sellersford.com or by calling (248) 643-7500. For more information about AAA Michigan, visit michigan.aaa.com.